Operation Vala Zonke well under way in FS

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Executive Mayor of Mangaung, Mxolisi Siyonzana rolls up his sleeves to tackle pothole repairs with both hands. PHOTO: Supplied

During a recent visit to the Free State by the National Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula, Operation Vala Zonke’s success in the province was evaluated. As declared by the Free State MEC for Police, Roads, and Transport, William Bulwane, the Free State is expected to be pothole-free within six months.

The minister was accompanied by Bulwane, the Executive Mayor of Mangaung Mxolisi Siyonzana, Sanral board members, and various senior members of the local, as well as provincial, leadership.

According to the spokesperson for the Free State Department of Police, Roads and Transport (DPRT), Hillary Mophethe, Operation Vala Zonke was a priority for the province.

Mophethe disclosed that potholes, covering a total area of 8 270 m², have so far been repaired by teams from the DPRT, working with external stakeholders. This translates to 16 540 potholes.

“Due to the fact that most of the activities have been done with internal capacity, no new jobs have been reported. The external service providers also used their permanent personnel and therefore did not report any new jobs.

Executive mayor of Mangaung, Mxolisi Siyonzana, Free State MEC Police, Roads and Transport, William Bulwane and Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula vow to work together across government spheres to eradicate potholes. PHOTO: Supplied

“The Department is in the process of procuring a programme where maintenance contractors will be appointed throughout the province, with the aim of addressing the pothole backlog, reducing vehicle operating costs that has a bearing on provincial economy, empowering emerging contractors, creating sustainable jobs and transferring necessary skills while alleviating poverty,” Mophethe said.

MEC Bulwane said that road maintenance had a direct impact on investment, job creation and economic growth broadly, and would therefore be implemented and completed as soon as possible.

Bulwane said: “Within six months our province must be pothole-free. That being said, we must remember that all of us have a responsibility to make this programme a success. SANRAL has created an APP for reporting potholes. Instead of just complaining, let’s be active participants and change the situation by reporting these potholes. Wherever you come across a pothole, take a photo and upload it on the SANRAL APP, the alert will immediately be captured and logged into the SANRAL system and the pothole will be attended to.”

To report a pothole, simply download the free SANRAL APP – available on IOS and Android phones – register and immediately submit your complaint.

The APP opens up a little camera which you use to take a picture of the pothole, while the system automatically records the GPS location. The information then gets assigned to the relevant authority.

The Mangaung Metro has revealed that it has budgeted R30-million for re-graveling of streets and filling potholes. Acting City Manager, Tebogo Motlashuping, said it was important to repair potholes as the city was facing claims, running into millions, from motorists.

In February, during her State of the Province address, Premier Sisi Ntombela announced more than R1-billion would be spent on the revival of the province’s road infrastructure.

Compiled by Bonolo Moloi

bonolo@centralmediagroup.co.za